Underwater welding is a job that involves a high level of risk, but underwater welders are well-compensated for the dangerous work they do. Many underwater welders work in the depths of the oceans on oil platforms or on the underwater pipelines that transport oil. Others work on securely welding damaged docks or repairing ships while at sea. There are also numerous positions for these individuals in the military.
The biggest risk involved with underwater welding is the possibility of electrical shocks. However, professionals who take proper precautions minimize their risk significantly. Explosions are another risk, particularly when using hydrogen and oxygen in an application. Additional risks are involved when underwater welders come back up to the surface too quickly. There is the potential for getting nitrogen bubbles in their blood causing a condition known as “the bends” which is painful and can be fatal. There is some risk of shark attack as well, but careful professionals rarely have any problems despite the riskiness of their jobs.
Why Choose Weaves Industries for Underwater Welding Jobs?
Founded in 2007 by skilled diver and underwater welder Scott Weaver, Weaves Industries takes its core values of honor, courage and commitment to every job. The health and safety of the company’s underwater welders is a top priority and all are properly certified and trained in the health and safety standards defined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Each weld they perform is done with precision producing a top quality result. All Weaves underwater welding jobs are inspected for potential flaws by B-Pressure certified and ticketed journeymen or through digital imaging technology before they leave the job site.
Certification Prerequisites and Education
The first step individuals take on their journey to enter this career field is going through a dive physical. If they have health or physical conditions that would limit their ability to perform the duties required, the process stops at the dive physical. The next step is to study and work to obtain a commercial diver certification which has much more stringent requirements than a scuba diving certification. Once the diving certification is obtained, the individual may go through the American Welding Society to find an accredited school for underwater welders. A degree program usually take about 2 years to complete.
Certification Testing and Diver Tender Period
An underwater welding certification may be obtained through the American Welding Society. Individuals who have graduated from an accredited program will take a written examination demonstrating their knowledge of the effects of pressure, depth and the quality of steel used in the underwater welding process. They will also be required to demonstrate their practical skills by doing a dive of approximately 99 feet and performing a superior fillet weld that will be examined by testers for quality. After passing the tests and receiving certification, the individual will work for 3 years as a “diver tender,” which is similar to an apprentice.
Becoming Fully Qualified
Between schooling and service as a diver tender, it takes about 5 years to become fully qualified for this position. During the diver tender period, underwater welders work for a company where their work is constantly evaluated by employers and diving supervisors. At the end of the 3-year period, probationary underwater welders who have consistently demonstrated top quality welding work, proper observation of health and safety rules and an overall superior work ethic will be “broken out” as fully qualified professionals. The underwater welders at Weaves Industries go through this exact process before handling any underwater welding jobs unsupervised.